Why cats make a house a home

With 20% of UK homes now privately rented, more and more tenants need to rely on landlords for secure housing that enables them to put down roots.*

The benefit of happy tenants is obvious: they’re more likely to stay for longer and value the home they’re renting.

You can help tenants feel more at home in your property by becoming a landlord that allows cats at your discretion. By following a few simple steps, you can remain in control and ensure tenants are responsible cat owners.

As a landlord you may have concerns that a cat will damage fixtures and fittings. The reality is that cats rarely cause any issues. 75% of cat-friendly private landlords report no problems at all from cats in their properties.***

Cat-friendly tenancy agreements for private rentals: what to include

Download our example pet clauses to see how pets can be allowed and responsible cat ownership encouraged.

Our suggested clauses clearly set out conditions of cat ownership to ensure tenants have their cats neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas. Not only is this good for the cat’s welfare, it also reduces the risk of any issues arising.

You can download a copy here

Lynton's story (Private Landlord)

“I want to keep the tenant as long as I can and keep them happy, because a happy tenant is a happy landlord.”

– Lynton, private landlord, Warrington. Lynton currently rents a property to a private tenant who owns a cat by permission.



I want to become a Purrfect Landlord. What can I do?

The first step in becoming a cat-friendly landlord is to advertise your property as ‘pets considered’. This will ensure you can make your decision once you’ve met your potential tenant and know more about their cat.

Letting people know you’re willing to consider cats is a great way to open up a wider pool of potential tenants, but keeps you firmly in control.

Suggested tips for landlords:

  • Ask owners about their cat: ask your prospective tenant to put together a ‘Pet CV’ to find out more about their cat. It should include vet records so you can see the cat has been neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas. It may also include details about the cat’s character, how they like to spend their time, if they use a litter tray and how they interact with people and animals.
  • Request to meet the cat: if it can be arranged then meeting a tenant with their cat gives you the chance to reassure yourself about the suitability of the cat and their owner for your property.
  • Create a standard responsible and reasonable pet policy or clause for your tenancy agreements: this should require cats to be neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas, and have a limit on the number of cats allowed to be kept in a property. You can find examples below.

Zoe and Ben's story (Private Tenant)

After an 18-month search, Zoe and Ben had to move to a different town because it was the only place they could find a home that would accept their pet cat Rhaegar.

Cats and rented housing video

Mandy's story (Private Landlord)

“Cats have never caused me any concern and I’ve never had any problem allowing tenants to own them. I’m much more concerned with the damage to a property that can be caused by smoking than by anything a cat could do.”

Mandy, private landlord, Yarm, North Yorkshire

What is a suitable cat for a rented property?

Cats make fantastic pets, not least because there’s normally a cat suited to any type of home. Whether it’s a top floor flat or a three-bed semi, cats can be happy in all sorts of properties.

While many cats will enjoy having access to the great outdoors, many others are better suited to indoor living, making them ideal for flats or homes without gardens.

Cats who are blind, deaf or have some other disability are best kept as indoor cats, while other cats with certain illnesses can lead happy, contented lives indoors.

Cats Protection staff and volunteers are experienced in matching the right cat with the right owner. You can use our Find-a-Cat tool to search for suitable cats for adopting by clicking here.


Morissey and Zoidberg's story

Brothers Morrisey and Zoidberg were adopted by owners Katie and Frank from a rehoming charity. Because of their background, the couple were advised that they were best suited as indoor cats.

This meant they could be perfect family pets for the couple, who live in a second floor flat with their son Isaac.

Katie said: "We've always made sure Morrisey and Zoidberg have plenty of stimulating toys and activities, as well as scratching posts. They've never caused a nuisance to any of our neighbours and they live happy, contented lives as indoor cats."

Useful links

Cat Guardians - peace of mind for tenants and landlords - click here

Cats Protection Neutering helpline - 03000 12 12 12 Mon-Fri, 9.30am to 1pm

Cats Protection National Info Line - 03000 12 12 12 Mon-Fri, 9am - 5pm

Help and Advice - advice on everything from environment to behaviour - click here

Indoor cats - advice on how to treat indoor cats - click here

Lets with Pets - www.letswithpets.org.uk

References

*https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/609282/Dwelling_Stock_Estimates_2016_England.pdf http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/HSfS/KeyInfoTables, http://gov.wales/docs/statistics/2017/170427-dwelling-stock-estimates-2015-16-en.pdf, https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/publications/northern-ireland-housing-statistics-2016-17
** and *** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size for the survey of private landlords was 985. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 27 January 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of private landlords. The total sample size for the survey of private renters was 1378. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9 - 27 November 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of private renters in the UK (aged 16+).